Transnational Strategies of Education for Social Mobility By Young Migrant Women in Germany

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 16:45
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Anil AL-REBHOLZ, Okan University, Dept. of Sociology, Turkey
This paper proposes looking at the educational and social mobility strategies of migrants’ children in transnational social space as a product of their social location rather than examining these strategies in terms of the deficiency approach, which explains the lower professional and educational success of migrants as being linked with their cultural origin. The social location, in turn, should be conceptualized as the interplay of the enabling (inclusionary) and constraining (exclusionary) structures, norms and values in migration contexts. In this sense, migrant transnationalism, in the form of diverse networks and educational/professional strategies, might become a resource which helps migrants to circumvent the constraints and restrictions put on them as they seek to improve their socio-economic status in the context of globalized economies. Based on a comparison of two biographical narratives from a young Kurdish woman and a Turkish woman, both living in Germany in the third generation, the paper shows that the construction of certain forms of belonging is accompanied by corresponding forms of transnational biographical orientation and upward mobility strategy. Moreover, the paper highlights the potential of migrants' transnational practices and constructions of belonging for contesting and critiquing the limits of the citizenship regimes of nation states. The interviews stem from a research project conducted at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main between the years 2010-2011, in which 18 biographical narrative interviews were done with the children of migrants in the second and third generations.